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The onboarding experience is crucial to the employee experience as it forms the foundation of a new hire's integration into your organization. A positive onboarding sets the tone for job satisfaction, engagement, and long-term success by fostering a sense of belonging and boosting long-term performance.

Onboarding surveys are invaluable tools for HR professionals to gather feedback on various aspects of the onboarding process. They offer insights into new hires' perceptions, identify program strengths, and pinpoint areas for improvement. Analyzing this feedback enables HR to make informed adjustments, enhancing the employee experience at every touchpoint.

Read on to learn how to create an effective onboarding survey.

The employee experience, in short, is a new hire’s perception of your organization. While they may have limited interactions with your company compared to a veteran employee, their experience impacts the rest of their tenure with your organization. 

The employee experience is crucial for a successful business, affecting everything from brand reputation to the quality of future hires and their engagement (more on that soon).

Reputation is just one consequence of your brand, but let’s explore this fully. The employee experience defines your reputation in the job marketplace. Strong company culture that fosters a sense of purpose and development attracts talented and high-performing employees (who will also go through your onboarding training!). In turn, employees create innovative solutions that drive company revenue, profits, and market share.

Insights gained from onboarding surveys enable organizations to identify areas for improvement, ensuring that the onboarding process aligns with the broader employee journey—and employer brand. 

Not to be forgotten, onboarding training and employee experience also plays a role in engagement. Keep reading to learn more.

An effective onboarding experience positively influences employee engagement. Harvard Business Review found that organizations that invest in their employee onboarding program could see a 62% greater productivity among new hires. Likewise, organizations with formal onboarding programs could experience 50% employee retention. 

Engaged employees are more productive as they feel connected to their work and their organization’s goals. Their strong connection to the organization also makes them proactive, going beyond their job description and seeking innovative solutions. As a result, engaged employees buy into the company, and their work also leads them to stay with their organization. 

Onboarding surveys solicit feedback directly from new hires and pinpoint specific aspects of the onboarding process that may require refinement. Organizations can tailor their onboarding experiences to better meet new employees' needs and expectations by streamlining administrative procedures, providing clearer communication, or adjusting training methods.

You can even leverage surveys to follow up with your new hires at set intervals (e.g., 30, 60, and 90 days) to see if they still feel the onboarding process adequately prepared them for their job. Learn more about employee pulse surveys

Onboarding surveys offer quantifiable metrics to measure the success of onboarding initiatives. From satisfaction scores to specific performance indicators, companies and departments can gauge the effectiveness of their onboarding strategies. Simultaneously, surveys help identify potential challenges, allowing proactive measures to address issues before they impact the overall employee experience.

Onboarding surveys are a win-win for your new hires and company. Try our easy-to-use onboarding template for free. 

To formulate questions, start with your survey objectives. Your objectives will give you direction and help respondents understand the survey’s purpose.

Consider the following questions to jumpstart your survey.

  • How valuable was the new hire onboarding at our company?
  • Before your first day at work, did you receive all the necessary information such as the schedule of the onboarding process?
  • How clear was the information presented during the onboarding?
  • Should onboarding have been longer, shorter, or was it just about right?
  • Was your computer equipment ready when you arrived at the office on your first day?

Plan your onboarding survey questions carefully and get the most applicable answers you can act on.

Employee onboarding is an inundation of information, paperwork, and meet and greets. Needless to say, it’s stressful. You can support new hires by not adding to the stress with a complicated onboarding survey.

Just as you are concerned with the impression your onboarding experience makes, new hires are also concerned about their presence. For this reason, new hires may hesitate to provide candid feedback for fear of repercussions.

An anonymous and confidential survey gives new hires the confidence to communicate their honest thoughts. Anonymous surveys do not collect information that can identify a new hire, like an employee ID number. And confidential surveys denote that feedback received will remain private. This means only survey administrators can view and follow up on survey responses.

Keep in mind that there are multiple ways to collect feedback, including close-ended and open-ended responses.

Close-ended questions don’t allow respondents to provide unique answers and include answer options like multiple choice, checkboxes, and sliders. Open-ended questions will uncover your respondents’ reasoning. 

Both quantitative and qualitative responses can help you gain a well-rounded understanding of your new hires. 

Customization lends credibility and trustworthiness to your survey. Put differently, a customized survey communicates that it is created specifically for your organization—the questions are thoughtful and tailored to your audience.

SurveyMonkey has several survey customization options, allowing you to create a personalized survey experience.

New hires are the most important people you should survey about your onboarding experience. They have fresh viewpoints that directly influence your onboarding program’s efficacy.

In addition to new hires, you should survey employees involved in the onboarding process, including managers, team leads, and department heads. 

Utilize feedback from your onboarding programs to continuously improve the onboarding experience for future hires. Implement regular surveys at intervals such as 30, 60, and 90 days (or customized intervals that align with your organizational needs) to evaluate the progress of new employees, ensuring they have all the essential resources for a successful start.

Onboarding surveys are a unique opportunity to receive candid and constructive feedback. However, it’s not enough to just collect feedback. Acting and measuring your impact is needed to create tangible results.

KPIs correlated with optimal employee experience include employee retention and employee Net Promoter Score® (eNPS). Survey new hires at the beginning of their tenure to set a KPI baseline. Throughout the onboarding process—about 12 months—survey your new hire cohort to analyze how their employee experience and eNPS changes.

Measuring and monitoring new hire’s employee experience can help you as you continue to update the onboarding experience for later cohorts.

As your company grows, your onboarding must evolve to fit the unique needs of diverse workers.

For this reason, you may find integrating your company’s social values and programs into your ongoing onboarding training beneficial. Programming mechanisms for improvement in your onboarding program is an efficient way to account for trends. 

Your employee onboarding program is vital to business success. Organizations can continuously refine their onboarding processes through targeted surveys, ensuring that employees feel supported and engaged.

Employee onboarding feedback is invaluable for measuring employee experience and optimizing profitability. See how SurveyMonkey can help improve your new hire experience with an employee onboarding survey.

Get started today to gather feedback from your company’s newest additions.

HR toolkit: Make employee experience your competitive advantage

HR leaders can use this toolkit to help drive exceptional employee experiences.

Navigating the evolving HR landscape

Learn how HR professionals can deliver more personalized, human-centric programs to improve employee satisfaction and build a world-class workforce

Enhancing the employee lifecyle: strategies and insights for EX success

Enhance workforce management and engagement through our in-depth guide on the employee lifecycle.

Using eNPS to close the employee experience gap

Discover how to track employee experience and close performance gaps over time with surveys.